Recreation: Recreation Leadership

Recreation and leisure is America’s number one economic activity. Leisure time experiences are big business and organized recreation offerings are growing, creating demand for capable recreation leaders to develop and coordinate an array of recreational, cultural, and athletic activities for people to enjoy and improve their quality of life.

The recreation leadership program provides a solid core of liberal arts courses complemented by more specialized courses in leadership, programming, diversity and inclusion, human relations, and recreation management. This combination of theory and applied knowledge plays a vital foundation for further study toward a bachelor’s degree. By the time you complete the recreation leadership program, you will have toured community facilities, worked at two different agencies, heard multiple guest speakers from your field, interviewed a recreation professional, participated in a team challenge course with classmates, and networked with other recreation leaders.

Field Experience

Field experience is an exciting component of the recreation leadership program. Volunteer work provides the opportunity to learn and apply inclusive leadership skills and knowledge in a variety of agencies in Tompkins, Cortland, and Tioga counties. Field experience opportunities, including those at the Town of Dryden Recreation Department, the Dryden After School Program, the Cortland Teen Center, local YMCA’s, Ithaca Youth Bureau, and the College's Campus Recreation Department provide hands-on experience developing skills and social networks necessary for your career in recreation.

Careers on Career Coach

Recreation leaders develop and manage recreational, cultural, and athletic activities in a variety of settings. These include school districts, corporations, community and municipal facilities, correctional facilities, health care organizations, and private clubs and resorts. Among the fastest growing specialties are tourism, therapeutic, and commercial recreation.

Recreation leaders who have earned a bachelor’s or master’s degree are more likely to be offered higher-level management positions.

Explore more careers related to all of the Recreation programs.

Select a career below to connect to Career Coach and find information about that career including median salary and job postings.

Explore more career options: A.S.

Program Chair

faculty-patmercer

Patrick Mercer

Associate Professor, Recreation Leadership/Outdoor Recreation

When I was completing my undergraduate degrees in Recreation, Outdoor Management, and Leisure Commercial Management at Lock Haven University, I stumbled across a sign while rock climbing during spring break at Seneca Rocks in WV. It read, “Here ends the Realm of the Hiker...” As an Outdoor Educator and Associate Professor, I heed the message from this sign as I help people overcome their own challenges to experience something greater or more intense in the field of Recreation and Leisure Studies.

Read more

 

Transfer Options

The recreation leadership program provides a strong foundation for transfer as a junior to a four-year college. Graduates have transferred to:

  • SUNY College at Brockport
  • SUNY College at Cortland
  • Ithaca College
  • Lock Haven University
  • SUNY College at Plattsburgh

 

Degree Requirements

A.S.
Minimum Credits for Graduation: 61 credits

Fall Term 1

Minimum Total Semester Credits: 15
ENGL100, Academic Writing I, 3 cr.
A minimum grade of C is required in ENGL 100. A student exempted from ENGL 100 must substitute a 3-credit Liberal Arts Elective. The course should be selected in consultation with the student's advisor.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
PSYC103, Introduction to Psychology, 3 cr.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
RECR110, Introduction to Recreation, 3 cr.
RECR 110 is only offered in the Fall semester.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
Select a minimum of 1 credit from the courses listed below:
CAPS 100, 105, 111, 113, 141, or 152 recommended.
CAPS@
Use Schedule Search for electives
Select a minimum of 1 credit from the courses listed below:
CAPS 121, 123, 131, 133, or 141 recommended.
CAPS@
Use Schedule Search for electives
Select a minimum of 3 credits from the courses listed below:
MATH109, Statistical Literacy, 3 cr.
MATH110, Topics in Mathematics, 3 cr.
MATH120, College Algebra, 4 cr.
MATH122, Technical Mathematics, 3 cr.
MATH138, Precalculus Mathematics, 4 cr.
MATH200, Statistics, 3 cr.
MATH201, Calculus I, 4 cr.
MATH202, Calculus II, 4 cr.
MATH203, Calculus III, 4 cr.
MATH206, Differential Equations, 4 cr.
MATH216, Discrete Mathematics, 4 cr.
Use Schedule Search for electives
Select a minimum of 1 credit from the courses listed below:
CAPS 121, 123, 131, 133, or 141; or HLTH 126; or an Outdoor Activity Elective recommended.
@
Use Schedule Search for electives

Spring Term 1

Minimum Total Semester Credits: 15
ENGL101, Academic Writing II, 3 cr.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
HLTH205, First Aid and Safety Education, 3 cr.
Students who can provide a current First Aid Certification of Responding to Emergencies or higher and an Adult, Child, and Infant CPR or higher can substitute a 3-credit Unrestricted Elective. A waiver request form must be submitted and approved.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
RECR120, Leadership in Recreation, 3 cr.
RECR 120 is only offered in the Spring semester.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
RECR150, Play Across Cultures, 3 cr.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
SOCI101, Introduction to Sociology, 3 cr.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 

Fall Term 2

Minimum Total Semester Credits: 15
ENGL102, Approaches to Literature, 3 cr.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
RECR210, Diversity and Inclusion in Recreation, 3 cr.
RECR 210 is only offered in the Fall semester.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
RECR215, Recreation and the Expressive Arts, 3 cr.
RECR 215 is only offered in the Fall semester.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
Select a minimum of 3 credits from the courses listed below:
ARAB101, Arabic I, 3 cr.
ARAB102, Arabic II, 3 cr.
CHIN101, Mandarin Chinese I, 3 cr.
CHIN102, Mandarin Chinese II, 3 cr.
FREN101, French I, 3 cr.
FREN102, French II, 3 cr.
FREN201, Intermediate French I, 3 cr.
FREN202, Intermediate French II, 3 cr.
GERM101, Beginning German I, 3 cr.
GERM102, Beginning German II, 3 cr.
ITAL101, Italian I, 3 cr.
ITAL102, Italian II, 3 cr.
RUSN101, Russian I, 3 cr.
RUSN102, Russian II, 3 cr.
SPAN101, Beginning Spanish I, 4 cr.
SPAN102, Beginning Spanish II, 3 cr.
SPAN201, Intermediate Spanish I, 3 cr.
SPAN202, Intermediate Spanish II, 3 cr.
Use Schedule Search for electives
Select a minimum of 3 credits from the courses listed below:
A Lab Science should be considered based on the requirements of the student's selected transfer institution.
ASTR101, Introductory Astronomy, 3 cr.
BIOL100, Human Biology, 3 cr.
BIOL101, Principles of Biology I, 3 cr.
BIOL102, Principles of Biology II, 3 cr.
BIOL104, General Biology I, 4 cr.
BIOL105, General Biology II, 4 cr.
BIOL112, Essentials of Medical Microbiology, 3 cr.
BIOL114, Essentials of Nutrition, 3 cr.
BIOL115, Field Natural History, 3 cr.
BIOL116, Tropical Field Natural History, 4 cr.
BIOL119, Botany, 3 cr.
BIOL131, Principles of Human Anatomy and Physiology I, 4 cr.
BIOL132, Principles of Human Anatomy and Physiology II, 4 cr.
BIOL201, Human Anatomy and Physiology I, 4 cr.
BIOL202, Human Anatomy and Physiology II, 4 cr.
BIOL211, Ecology, 4 cr.
BIOL216, General Microbiology, 4 cr.
CHEM101, Principles of Chemistry I, 4 cr.
CHEM102, Principles of Chemistry II, 4 cr.
CHEM107, General Chemistry I, 4 cr.
CHEM108, General Chemistry II, 4 cr.
CHEM205, Organic Chemistry I, 4 cr.
CHEM206, Organic Chemistry II, 4 cr.
ENVS101, Introduction to Environmental Science, 3 cr.
ENVS102, Technology and the Environment, 3 cr.
ENVS116, Soil Science, 3 cr.
ENVS141, Agroecology, 3 cr.
ENVS202, Integrated Pest Management, 3 cr.
GEOL101, Introductory Geology, 3 cr.
METR101, Introductory Meteorology, 3 cr.
PHSC104, General Physics I, 4 cr.
PHSC105, General Physics II, 4 cr.
PHSC211, Physics I (Mechanics and Heat), 4 cr.
PHSC212, Physics II (Electricity and Magnetism), 4 cr.
PHSC213, Physics III (Waves, Optics and Modern Physics), 4 cr.
Use Schedule Search for electives

Spring Term 2

Minimum Total Semester Credits: 16
ENGL201, Fundamentals of Speech, 3 cr.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
RECR220, Programming in Recreation and Leisure, 3 cr.
RECR 220 is only offered in the Spring semester.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
Choose one from the courses listed below:
Minimum credits required: 3
RECR201, Introduction to Therapeutic Recreation Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi
RECR285, Recreation Field Work Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi
Select a minimum of 1 credit from the courses listed below:
FITN@
Use Schedule Search for electives
Select a minimum of 3 credits from the courses listed below:
PSYC@
Use Schedule Search for electives
Use Schedule Search for electives


SUNY General Education & Tompkins Cortland Liberal Arts courses

Note: The @ symbol represents any course number or discipline. For example, BIOL @ means any course with a Biology course prefix. An @ alone means one course in any course discipline with any course number.